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Curated research library of TV news clips regarding the NSA, its oversight and privacy issues, 2009-2014

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Primary curation & research: Robin Chin, Internet Archive TV News Researcher; using TV News Archive service.

Speakers

Pete Williams
NBC News Justice Correspondent
MSNBCW 05/07/2015
Williams: It went furtherer in some ways and not in others. And that's what sort of interesting about it. What the court said today, this is a three judge panel ruling unanimously. They say I'm sorry the law that the Congress passed doesn't let the government do this. Now what the government is doing is requiring the phone companies to give them what's called the metadata, the records about phone calls, not the contents but numbers dialed, length of call and so forth for every phone call, virtually every phone call in the United States. Now the government says it can do that because The Patriot Act allows them to ask for any tangible record that would be helpful in an investigation. But the court said aha that's the trick. There has to be an investigation. You have to be looking for something specific when you ask for this information. You can't just ask for everything now in the hopes that you'll find something in it later. That is the flaw in the government's argument the court said and that's why it's illegal.
Pete Williams
NBC News Justice Correspondent
MSNBCW 05/07/2015
Williams: But the three judge panel said we're not going to order the government to stop this because of what you said. Congress is right now debating. Maybe Congress will change the law, the court said. Maybe Congress will give the government the legal authority to do this either to store it itself or to require the phone companies to store the data and hand it over when the government asks. But if that happens, then we'll get to the second question which is whether even if Congress allows it, is it nonetheless unconstitutional. The court didn't go to that question. And that’s why I say it isn’t as sweeping as it could have been.
Pete Williams
NBC News Justice Correspondent
MSNBCW 05/07/2015
Mitchell: How important is Section 215 and the metadata compared to social media, twitter, newer forms of communication by these terror groups. Williams: Well I think a lot of intelligence people think that where the action is right now is in monitoring e-mails and monitoring social media chat. That's where a lot of the people who’ve been arrested in the U.S. for being ISIS-inspired, that's where that information has come from not so much from the telephone meta data program. The government will continue to want to keep this, Andrea but if they had a choice they'd much rather throw this overboard and keep the ability to monitor those other things.
Loretta Lynch
Attorney General
MSNBCW 05/07/2015
Lynch: Section 215 has been a vital tool in our national security arsenal. But the department has as you note, been operating under the new directives by the President with a view towards modify the program. We are reviewing that decision but given the time issues involving the expiration of it we are also and have been working with this body and others to look for ways to reauthorize section 215 in a way that does preserve its efficacy and protect privacy. Mitchell: Attorney General Loretta Lynch testifying today at a budget hearing on the federal and the effect now of a Federal Appeals Court ruling which said today that the NSA’s controversial data collection of all phone records is illegal even as The Patriot Act and that provision Section 215 is about to expire next month.
Ron Wyden
U.S. Senator (D-Oregon), Member of Select Committee on Intelligence
MSNBCW 05/07/2015
Wyden: First of all, Congress now has the opportunity to once and for all end this flawed and misguided program. What the court said today is that this program is based on secret law and it is illegal. The bottom line for millions of Americans, however, the millions of Americans who've done nothing wrong, this program is a federal human relations database. When the federal government knows who you called, when you called, and where you called from that is often very private information. And you can't tell me if the government knows that somebody called a psychiatrist three times in 36 hours twice after midnight. That's pretty private information.
Ron Wyden
U.S. Senator (D-Oregon), Member of Select Committee on Intelligence
MSNBCW 05/07/2015
Wagner: What about Mitch McConnell and some of the republicans that took to the floor of congress today? Mitch McConnell wants a reauthorization of the patriot act as is. Is he going to get it? Wyden: Not if I have anything to say about it and I'm certainly going to pull out all the stops to once and for all end this misguided program. And listeners who heard those arguments on the floor about how important this was I urge them to take a look at the report of the President's own advisory committee and there were some people who signed that report who are not exactly soft on terror and in page 104 of the report, your viewers will see that those experts said that this program was not of significant value in helping us win the fight against terror.
Ron Wyden
U.S. Senator (D-Oregon), Member of Select Committee on Intelligence
MSNBCW 05/07/2015
Wyden: I have long felt that so often, this debate is premised on the idea that if you’re going to protect liberty, you have to give up your security and I just don't buy that for a second. We have through the Warren process and particularly through emergency authorizations when the government feels that there is a threat to the well being of the American people the government can really move in a hurry. But that's very different than dragnet surveillance. What the court said today is that dragnet surveillance was illegal and the reality is I've been warning about this for years. I've been saying get it on the floor of the United States Senate. When the American people find out that there is a big gap between what they think is in The Patriot Act and what is the secret interpretation they're going to be very angry. They have been and today, the court said that that secret program and secret law is illegal.
Ron Wyden
U.S. Senator (D-Oregon), Member of Select Committee on Intelligence
MSNBCW 05/07/2015
Wagner: Edward Snowden is in large part the reason why this case was brought to court. Should this exonerate him at least in name? Wyden: My view is that having a public debate on this has been long overdue and that's what I tried to start with my talk on the floor of the United States Senate. I do think it would have been a lot better if that debate had been started by the intelligence leadership. In fact, the intelligence leadership didn't do it and when I asked them at a public hearing, the Director, I said does the government collect any type of data at all on millions of Americans? The Director of National Intelligence said no and that was false. Wagner: Do you think that James Clapper should step down? He’s the official you are referring to. Wyden: That's a judgment for the President of the United States. He makes those calls.
Glenn Greenwald
Co-Founder, The Intercept
MSNBCW 05/07/2015
Wagner: I have to ask because of Edward Snowden's involvement in all of this, have you spoken to him about the decision by this New York Federal Court? Greenwald: I have. And he is thrilled about it. I think it's really important to note, I found it notable that you asked Senator Wyden whether this vindicates Mr. Snowden and he evaded your question completely. It is true that Senator Wyden has gone around for years trying to start a debate but didn't tell the American people about what the government was doing. So we couldn't debate it. It took Edward Snowden to come forward and he came forward in large part because he heard Director Clapper, the Senior U.S. National Security official tell the senate and the American people falsely that the government was not doing exactly the program that the court today said was illegal. So to have an appellate court, the first time an appellate Court looked at the legality of the program, come out and decisively and unanimously say that it's illegal, of course is very gratifying.
Glenn Greenwald
Co-Founder, The Intercept
MSNBCW 05/07/2015
Wagner: How confident are you that either the Executive Branch or the Legislative Branch are going to act on this? Greenwald: Well in some sense, they need to act on it now because there's a court ruling that essentially says the program is illegal. And that although they're not stopping the program, they're giving Congress an opportunity to stop it on their own. If they don't stop it there will be this court ruling in place if they don't reauthorize it. And there’s also the question which the court raised whether this is even constitutional at all. Whether the Congress even could authorize it if they wanted to or whether it would be a violation of the first and fourth amendment and the court seems to suggest there's at least serious grounds for believing it would be unconstitutional. So I think you already had momentum to seriously reform The Patriot Act to at least significantly modify this program if not end it and I think this court decision will only fuel that.
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